Workshop on research needs for protected corals in New Zealand waters
On 12 October 2017, the Department of Conservation held a workshop on research needs for protected corals in New Zealand waters. Various agencies with an interest in coral research attended the workshop and discussed previous and current research projects, and identified research/knowledge needs for New Zealand corals.
There has been a significant increase over recent years in our knowledge of the diverse cold-water corals found within the New Zealand region, with research being funded through a range of sources. However, progress towards a more complete understanding of species biology and human impacts on the structure and function of coral communities has at times been hampered by the high cost of atsea activities and the prioritisation given to the research relative to other marine species.
Strengthening linkages between the various agencies with an interest in coral research is highly desirable as it will increase our capacity to reduce duplication, develop research synergies and help achieve maximum return from applied research projects. Such knowledge sharing and collaboration will inform and improve the understanding, conservation, and management of New Zealand protected corals
This workshop was aimed to assist this process by providing a forum where personnel (i.e. government agencies, stakeholders, industries, researchers) with invested interest in corals in New Zealand waters have an opportunity to come together to discuss the current status of research, identify knowledge gaps and their importance to the conservation and management of New Zealand protected corals, as well as highlighting possible synergies for different end-user needs.
The outputs of this workshop will feed into a final report which will form the basis of a broad and accessible repository of the available research information on New Zealand corals. It is envisioned that this report will support the identification of management challenges and priorities as well as providing important information to support management tools such as marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management.
The morning session was spent on summarising recent research on corals in New Zealand waters. Various researchers presnted on their work, results and main recommendations in short presentations. The afternoon session was focussed on gap identification and discussions of the value of filling them.
Read more about the workshop objectives, outputs, methodolgy and agenda here: Workshop document and agenda (PDF, 282K)